A new wave of raids in Turkey, in response to a Twitch money laundering scam, has resulted in 18 arrests as authorities crackdown on alleged perpetrators.
On Tuesday, May 17, cybercrime units in Istanbul and other cities across Turkey conducted operations simultaneously with police detaining 18 suspects.
As reported by Daily Sabah, one suspect is still wanted by police for their role in the Twitch money laundering scam.
The scandal first gained attention back when the income of Twitch’s highest earners was leaked, revealing some smaller streamers were earning an outrageous amount of money, far beyond what streamers their size earn.
It is alleged that the scammers would collaborate with Twitch streamers and send them “bits” (Twitch’s currency) paid with stolen credit and debit cards and then receive cash in return.
Basically, the Twitch streamers involved would refund 70-80% and keep the rest, giving them a nice payday.
According to Twitch, action had been taken against 150 streamers for abuse of its monetization tools resulting in $9.8 million being laundered through the Amazon-owned streaming site.
This isn’t the first large-scale operation connected to the money laundering scandal. Back in January, 40 people were arrested in 11 different provinces across Turkey. It’s unclear just how many are suspected to be involved, but this new wave puts the arrest total at 58.